Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The Opening and Closing scenes in Shakespeares Tempest :: Tempest essays

The Opening and Closing scenes in Shakespeare's Tempest      Ã‚  Ã‚   The opening and closing scenes in William Shakespeare's The Tempest are crucial to the significance of the play as a whole. Through the deconstruction of the court system in the tumultuous opening scene, and its eventual superior reconstruction in the closing scene, Shakespeare is able to better develop and display inherent character traits in the major roles.       Shakespeare immediately throws the audience into a court that is not unified and strictly divided by political strife, as were the courts of his day. In The Tempest, the court is in a sense of disorder from the beginning with the shipwreck and its tumultuous and frightening sounds and images. The courtly conventions of politics and class are in great conflict, and the entire court is forced away through reality or magic from courtly order to the enchanted island, in which the characters function under a different order where idealism is a reality. For these characters, the island represents an escape from the political and material concerns of the mainland, allowing for a period of internal meditation aside from the roles that are prescribed to them in the royal household.       This internal meditation through the rest of the play is brought to a conclusion in the final scene, where Prospero bring all of the characters together in a magical circle. It is here that all of their epiphanies occur, and where the characters are changed for the better by the island. This change in the last scene is easily noticed by the audience, allowing for additional characterization through the differences between the opening and final scenes.       One of the most complex changes in the play takes place within Prospero himself. In considering his motives for "wrecking" the ship and bringing the characters to the island, we can't escape the feeling that Prospero holds a great deal of resentment about his treatment back in Milan and is never very far from wanting to exact a harsh revenge; after all, he has it in his power to significantly injure the parties that treated him so badly. We learn more of Prospero's character when he has a sudden insight in the start of the final act, when he decides that revenge is not the most appropriate response.

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